HOSPITALS and GP practices have been affected by a major IT failure across Torbay and South Devon NHS.

Routine surgery and outpatients appointments all had to be cancelled following the breakdown.

Experts have been working through the night and on Monday to try to resolve the critical system failure.

Attempts have been ongoing since the problem started on Sunday.

Systems affected across Torbay and South Devon include clinical systems, email and telephones.

It includes Torbay Hospital and all its community sites including Newton Abbot Hospital, Totnes Hospital, Brixham Hospital and Dawlish Hospital, as well as GPs’ IT systems.

NHS bosses declared a major internal incident and apologised for the inconvenience and distress.

In an official statement, deputy chief executive and chief nurse, Jane Viner, said: ‘Torbay Hospital is extremely busy and we are operating at OPEL 4 –the highest level of escalation.

‘We are cancelling all routine operations for today and ask people only to come to Torbay Hospital if it is critical that they do so.

‘We apologise for the inconvenience and disruption this situation will inevitably cause, and ask for people’s understanding while we do everything we can to urgently restore our IT resilience.’